A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to “debate” on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.

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Charity Plastic Bags

This is just two weeks of charity plastic bags pushed through my mailbox.

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If I filled every one of these every time I got one, I wouldn’t have any clothes left!!

It is especially galling that we are about to be charged for supermarket plastic bags when these things are shoved through my letterbox far more often than I use a Tesco bag. You can’t recycle them either. Straight into the bin…

Internet Censorship

The UK government is planning to block all internet pornography in the UK.

It doesn’t make sense that the blame is somehow being placed on the search engines. Google does not run the internet. It’s like blaming the phone book for listing criminals.

This is what happens when you have people attempting to regulate something without knowing how it works. I remember that they tried to do this a few years ago, but put the onus on the ISPs. The original idea was for the ISPs to block access to anything that the government deemed as “inappropriate”, but individual users could have the block removed by asking permission, in writing. As others have said, all this will do is force folk to look elsewhere for their porn. They’ll learn about VPNs, proxies and Tor.

By attempting to legislate something and making it taboo, you force it to go underground. We’ll end up with porn that doesn’t depict rape, it will be rape. Would you rather your teenage daughter go to a respectable tube site for porn, or end up accidentally on some page full of kiddie porn because she’s gone through Tor and got lost?

The people championing this legislation are, for the majority, older people. Each and every one of them had the same argument; “We need this because currently, child pornography is freely available.”

Is it?

As someone who has used the internet since dial up, I have never once come across child pornography online. What websites are these people looking at? I’m sick to death of the Daily Mail brigade trying to start campaigns over things they don’t understand.

If you want a filter to protect young children there are already hundreds available, (I personally recommend OpenDNS FamilyShield) run from home with parents control and discretion, far more effective than the filter this incompetent government will run out and gives parents some control rather than just “on” and “off”.

The government could do a far more effective job by freely distributing existing software to every household that receives child support payments, simple cheap and effective whilst being run on a system with a proven track record.

Equality

Today I was unfortunate enough to receive a leaflet through my door entitled “10 reasons why the government is wrong to redefine marriage”. It came with a bonus leaflet tucked inside called “Stop David Cameron destroying Britain’s families with same sex marriage proposals”.

Now, I freely admit that I am no fan of David Cameron or his government, but some decisions are the right ones no matter who makes them. These leaflets are a sugary sanitised collection of lies and bigotry, and it makes me feel ashamed to be living in the same country as the same people (Coalition for Marriage Limited, and Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) who think it is OK to preach such hate – a thankfully rare occurrence here.

The text contained within is not only offensive to gays, but should also be offensive to anyone who believes in equality and human rights.

This issue is about nothing more than equality. Just as it was wrong to discriminate against other races, and other sexes, it is equally wrong to discriminate against those with alternative sexualities. That this primary-school basic fact of human nature somehow hasn’t made it into the heads of so many people, enough to form a campaign group, is depressing.

It’s especially sickening to see marriage equality portrayed as bad for children because, as the bonus leaflet says, “society will no longer prioritise their main need, which is to be brought up by the people that conceived them”.

Adoptive parents, widows and widowers should be offended and outraged at this comparison. Worse is the line “Marriage won’t be about commitment to bearing and raising children”. Is marriage about that now? Is it illegal for the sterile to get married? Is it illegal for those too old to bear children to get married?

The leaflet continues, often descending into the outright absurd with statements such as “Being male or female will be meaningless, if any combination can get married”. Basic facts of biology would like to disagree with you.

The final point, so often wheeled out by anti-equality campaigners, is that marriage is “an institution” and “traditional” and so we shouldn’t be changing it.

Well I’m sorry but in human history sexism, racism, and brutality to anyone different was “traditional” too, but we got over it. We grew up.

Let’s all grow up.

Traditionally,

Labour are the working mans party, funded by the unions, pioneered the welfare state, care about the working man and maintaining his livelihood.

Tories are the old boys club, focus on what I suppose is known as trickle down economics or, if the rich are doing well, we are all doing well.

Lib Dems, well liberal means allowing a man to be the master of his own fate essentially. As long as you don’t hurt anyone else crack on with it. For this reason they are generally more popular with youth (scoff)

Reality

Labour – Power hungry individuals formed together to run a country the way they want to; under the guise of being the working mans party but generally ignoring this whilst in power. In my opinion the lesser of the evils but just because she’s wearing pretty make up doesn’t mean she’s not going to fuck you.

Tories – Power hungry individuals formed together to run a country the way that their dad is telling them to; under the guise of understanding the way the country works because of all of their heritage. They really don’t care about helping out the little guy it’s all about pumping money into the pockets of their old school friends. Slick, well polished snake oil salesmen who don’t care about you or your opinion. They are the worst of the three

Lib Dems – Never, been in power, never really expecting to be in power often perceived as a wasted vote and have well and truly shot themselves in the foot by pissing off student voters. Having said that this is the place where you will find well meaning politicians who genuinely believe in what they say. Vince Cable really knows his stuff and is an asset to them. They were forced into a hike in tuition fees in exchange for the AV referendum which the Tories then fucked them on by lying about the way it worked to the general populous.

In truth they are all probably as bad as each other, I vote for whoever I have to in order to keep the Tories out.

Now, UKIP are basically daily mail reading, mouth breathing, closet racists who have such a poor grasp of economics they genuinely believe the UK would be better out of the EU. Don’t vote for them, slap anyone you suspect may vote for them.

Plastic_Lampy accurately describing the main political parties in the UK

Installing Steam on Kubuntu: An adventure with screenshots

I was excited to learn that Steam was available on Linux – I was slightly less excited to discover that it was only available for Ubuntu. Oh well, it’s a start.

I run Kubuntu, the version of Ubuntu that uses KDE instead of Gnome or Unity, because I prefer a real desktop environment and not a toy. But underneath it’s still Ubuntu with the same repositories, so I assumed that it would be easy to find.
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